WordPress In Depth

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-07-26
  • Publisher: Que Pub
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WordPress has grown into the #1 blogging tool in its category: several million bloggers have downloaded this powerful open source software, and millions more are using WordPress.com's hosted services. Thirty-two of Technorati's Top 100 blogs now use WordPress. WordPress InDepth, 2/e,is a comprehensive reference for everyone who wants to use either WordPress or WordPress.com more effectively -- regardless of their experience with WordPress or with blogging. It offers comprehensive guidance for every aspect of using WordPress -- from downloading, installing, and securing it through blog design, templates, themes, posting entries, working with comments and email, and managing WordPress blogs. WordPress software has moved from Version 2.9 to Version 3.0 and this new edition has been fully updated to reflect the changes, including: -New look. The software has a more sophisticated look. Some menu items have been moved around, and the font is different. -Menus editor. WordPress now allows users to create and manage menus -Graphics editor. -New default theme. The look and functionality of the default theme have changed -Merger of WordPress and WordPress Multi-User (WordPress MU) -Use of WordPress as a CMS.

Author Biography

Bud Smith wrote his first book for Que about buying computers fifteen years ago—and had

to do his online research for it using dial-up Internet. Since then, he’s lived and worked in

Silicon Valley; London, England; Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand; San Francisco and

Oakland, California, and written a dozen more books. And he does most of his online work at

broadband speeds—except when he’s using the Web on his cell phone, which is as slow as his

old dial-up modem. Bud runs a WordPress-based blog at RunawayDaily.com.


Michael McCallister is devoted to the idea that technology need not be feared and can be mastered

by anyone. He has been writing about technology in general, and open source software

in particular, for the whole of the twenty-first century, and part of the previous century, too.

He tries to help build the open source community, from which derives WordPress and so much

else that is good, true, and pure in life (the parts of life that run on computers, anyway). While

Bud has moved hither and yon, Michael has lived the relatively boring, stable life in the central

United States (Milwaukee, Madison, and Boulder). Michael has been running “Notes from the

Metaverse” on WordPress since 2006 at metaverse.wordpress.com. Find out more at www.


Table of Contents



Why This Book?

How Our Book Is Organized

Conventions Used in This Book

    Text Conventions

    Special Elements


Part I: Getting Started with Your Blog


1 Getting Started with WordPress

What Is WordPress?

    WordPress Versions in Brief

    The WordPress Community

    What Does It Cost You?

Who Is WordPress For?

    Blogger as a Worthy Alternative

    WordPress User Case Study 1: Beginners

    WordPress User Case Study 2: A Business Blog

WordPress Hosting Options

    Making the Move

    Comparing WordPress.com with WordPress Software

Other Ways to Create an Online Presence


2 Starting Your Blog Right

Creating Your Blog

How Many Visitors Do You Want?

Playing the Domain Name Game

    Starting with a Custom Domain Name

    Adding a Custom Domain Name Later

    Using a WordPress.com Domain Name Forever

Signing Up

    Creating a WordPress Account and a Blog

    Taking Advantage of Resources

Changing Initial WordPress Settings

    General Settings

    Writing Settings

    Reading Settings

    Discussion Settings

    Media Settings

    Privacy Settings

    Sharing Settings

Other Settings Subpanels: OpenID, Text Messaging, Domains, Email, and


WordPress Settings Not in the Settings Menu

    Ratings Settings

    Post by Email and Post by Voice Settings

    Delete Site


3 Creating Your Blog’s Look

You’ve Got the Look

Introducing Themes

    What to Look for in a Theme


    Number of Columns

    Fixed-Width or Flexible-Width Columns

    Widgets and Other Features

    Should You Change Your Theme with CSS?

    Listing the Themes

    Choosing a Theme

Changing a Custom Header

Changing mShots and Related Links

Adding Available Widgets

    Placing Widgets

    Preserving Existing Widgets

    Adding New Widgets

    A Brief Catalog of Widgets

    Getting the Most Out of Widgets


Part II: Running Your Blog


4 Creating Your First Post

What Is a Blog Entry?

Using the QuickPress Tool

Adding a New Post

    Working on Posts in Full-Screen Mode

    Using Basic Formatting Commands

    An Example of Text Formatting

    Using Hyperlinks as Formatting

    Using Secondary Formatting Commands

Adding Links

    Linking Strategy

    Creating a Link

Using Shortlinks

    Using bit.ly

    Using the Get Shortlink Feature

Saving, Checking Your Spelling, and Publishing Posts


5 Taking Posts Further

Doing More with Posts

Anchor Posts

Putting Your Posts in Categories

    How People Think About Categories

    Using and Creating Categories

    Managing Categories

    Moving Posts Among Categories

Tagging Your Posts

    Using and Creating Tags

    Managing Tags

    Changing Tags Associated with Posts

Updating Links and Your Blogroll

    Adding New Links

    Editing Links

    Link Categories


6 Using HTML in Your Widgets and Blog

How HTML Can Take You Further

Power Tools for Better Blogging

HTML Basics in WordPress

    HTML Tags

    The Visual and HTML Tabs

    Character Formatting

    List Formatting


    The More Tag

    HTML Editing in WordPress

    What Tags Can I Use?

YouTube as an Example of Embedded HTML

Using the Text Widget

    Content Providers for the Text Widget

    Things You Can Do with the Text Widget

    A Simple Sample Text Widget


7 Adding Features to Your Blog

Making Your Blog Better

Adding Users to Your Blog

    Understanding WordPress User Roles

    Inviting Users and Assigning Roles

Adding a Static Page

    Planning Static Pages

    Designing a Static Page

    Creating and Editing Static Pages

Adding a Custom Menu

    Planning Menus

    Creating a Custom Menu

Adding Polls


8 Tracking Statistics and Bringing In Visitors

Getting More People to Visit Your Blog

WordPress Statistics

    Why Are You Doing This?

    Stats on Your WordPress Administration Page

    The Stats Page in WordPress Administration

    Analyzing Referrers

    Incoming Links

    Looking at Search Terms

    Top Posts and Pages


    Blog Stats: Summary Tables

How Visitors Can Subscribe to Your Blog

    Using the RSS Widget


Part III: Taking Your Blog Further


9 Adding Graphics to Your Blog and Posts

Why Add Graphics and Other Media?

Copyright and Media Types

Putting Pictures in Your Posts

Graphics Tips for Bloggers

Using the WordPress Image Editor

    How Much Should I Scale and Crop?

    When Should I Use a Separate Editor?

Uploading and Inserting Graphics

    Uploading an Image to the Media Library

    Using an Image from Your Computer in Your Post

    Using an Image from the Media Library in Your Post

    Using an Image from the Web in Your Post

    Using a Custom Header Image Per Post


10 Adding Upgrades, Audio, and Video

Upgrading Your Blog

A Quick Description of Upgrades

    Custom CSS

    Unlimited Private Users

    No-ads Upgrade

    Space/Audio Upgrades: 5GB, 15GB, and 25GB

    VideoPress Upgrade

    Domain Names

    Global Differences

Getting a Good Domain Name


    Domain Names Versus

    Custom Domain Names 

    How Domain Names Work 

    Choosing a Good Third-Level or Second-Level Domain Name

Using Audio in Your Blog

    Where to Host Audio

    Putting an Audio File in Your Blog

Using Video in Your Blog

    Where to Host Video

    Putting a Video File in Your Blog


Part IV: Building Your Own WordPress Installation


11 Installing and Upgrading WordPress Software

Getting It Done for You: Hosted WordPress

    Finding a Blog-Friendly Host

    Why PHP and MySQL?

    Using FTP to Upload Files

    Preparing for the Five-Minute Hosted WordPress Installation

    The Five-Minute Hosted WordPress Installation

    Adding a User to Your Site

    Upgrading WordPress

Transferring Your WordPress.com Blog

Hosting WordPress Yourself

    Installing a Test Web Server and MySQL Database

    Editing the WordPress Configuration File


12 Taking Control of Your WordPress Site

A Quick Tour of the WordPress.org Dashboard

Customizing Your Dashboard

Getting Social: WordPress Multisite and BuddyPress

    Your Own Blog Network: WordPress Multisite

    Creating a Social Network with BuddyPress


13 The WordPress Toolkit: Themes and Security

Essential Tasks: Themes and Security

Shopping for Themes

    Finding Free Themes

    Finding Premium Themes

    Installing and Activating a Theme

Securing Your New Website

    Security Considerations When Selecting a Theme for Your Blog

    Protecting Your Site

    Backup and Restore


14 The WordPress Toolkit: Plug-Ins

WordPress Modular Architecture

Defining a Plug-In

Finding Plug-Ins

    Finding and Installing Plug-Ins from the Directory

    Plug-In Compatibility

    Finding Free Plug-Ins Outside the Directory

    Finding Premium Plug-Ins

Manually Installing and Activating Plug-Ins

    Downloading New Plug-Ins

    Testing Your New Plug-In

    Selection and Activation

    Managing and Updating Plug-Ins

Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly

    Fitting Your Site to the Small Screen

    WordPress Mobile Apps

Some “Essential” Plug-Ins

    Basic WordPress Plug-Ins: Akismet and Hello Dolly

    WordPress.com Jetpack: A Starter Kit

    Administration and Security

    Posting Aids


    Comments, Forums, and Other Discussions

    Advertising/Search Engine Optimization



    Social Networks


15 Style Sheets for Building Themes

Creating Style Sheets

Introducing XHTML

    Defining Web Standards

    XML and XHTML

    Writing HTML-Friendly XHTML in WordPress

Introducing CSS

    What CSS Is Meant to Do

    What Is a Style Sheet?

    Anatomy of a Style Sheet

Tweaking Theme Style Sheets

    When Using an Existing Theme Is Good Enough

    Tweaking an Existing Theme with the Theme Editor

    Backing Up Themes to Preserve Your Choices

    Creating a Child Theme

    Some Common Tweaks

    Creating a CSS-Based Theme from Scratch


16 PHP Basics: Themes and Plug-ins

Introducing PHP

    PHP 4 Versus PHP 5

    Installing PHP on Your Test or Development Server

    Writing PHP Scripts: Basic Syntax

MySQL Database Tables for WordPress

Customizing Your Site with FUNCTIONS.PHP

    Making Your Content More Findable with Custom Taxonomies

    Helping Visitors to Get Around Your Site with Custom Menus

The Heart of WordPress: The Loop

    What Does “The Loop” Do?

    Creating a Featured Posts Loop with WP_Query

PHP Theme Templates

    The Index Template

    The Sidebar Template

    The Header Template

    The Footer Template

Examining an Existing Plug-In

Submitting to the WordPress Plugin Directory

    Why Not Submit to the Plugin Directory?

    Submitting to the Plugin Directory


Part V: Appendixes


A WordPress.com Versus WordPress.org

Choosing the Right WordPress for You

Naming of Parts

Choosing WordPress.org

    Making Money with Your Blog

    Automattic’s Ads on Your Site

    Tapping the WordPress Community

    Getting the Right Host

Choosing WordPress.com


B WordPress Documentation

Finding Your Way Through the Online Documents

The WordPress Codex

Problems with WordPress Documentation

Using Google to Access WordPress Documentation


C Examples of WordPress Blogs

Why Look at Famous Blogs?


Surfin’ Safari

Master of Arts in Teaching at USC


D Examples of WordPress.com Blogs

Equal Representation for .commies

Famous Quotes

The Outland Institute

Music at SFSU


E WordPress Site Maps

Navigating the WordPress Sites

Navigating WordPress.com

    Home Page: http://wordpress.com

    Support Options: http://en.support.wordpress.com

    Forums: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/

    Free Features: http://en.wordpress.com/features

    Premium Features: http://en.wordpress.com/products

    VIP Services: http://vip.wordpress.com

    Theme Showcase: http://theme.wordpress.com

    Popular Tags/Hot Topics: http://en.wordpress.com/tags

    News: http://en.blog.wordpress.com


    About Us: http://en.wordpress.com/about

    Advanced Services: http://en.wordpress.com/advanced-services

Navigating WordPress.org

    Home Page: http://wordpress.org

    Showcase: http://wordpress.org/showcase

    Themes, Plug-Ins, and Places to Complain: http://wordpress.org/extend

    The World of WordPress: http://wordpress.org/about

    Latest from the Developers: http://wordpress.org/news

    Getting Help from Your Peers: http://wordpress.org/support

    Finding a Host: http://wordpress.org/hosting

     Downloading WordPress: http://wordpress.org/download

    Learning from the Sources on WordPress.tv: http://wordpress.tv/


F Importing Content from Other Systems

Direct Import into WordPress

    Transferring from Blogger/BlogSpot

    Transferring from LiveJournal

    Transferring from Movable Type/TypePad

    Transferring from Posterous

    Transferring from Textpattern

Indirect Transfer

    Transferring from an RSS Feed

    Transferring from (X)HTML Wordpress


G Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

Know Your Purpose

Use Keywords

Get Links

Use Tags and Categories

Consider Using META Tags

Try Using Plug-Ins

Living in the Zone



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